From wkow.com: “Law enforcement agencies say Alzheimer’s is becoming a growing problem” – Of all the types of emergencies police officers, fire fighters and EMT’s respond to on a daily basis, Alzheimer’s Disease isn’t one that most people think about. The disease is typically associated with senior care centers and retirement communities, but law enforcement officers say the issue is becoming a bigger part of their daily lives.

“We’ve seen a startling increase in calls in recent years,” Alzheimer’s response trainer Hank Levenson says.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s once every 68 seconds. There’s a 60% chance that they will wander off or get lost at least once in their lifetime. That is where local law enforcement agencies come in. Officers say they’re being called out to an increasing amount Alzheimer’s related situations.

“Not knowing how to recognize that it may be Alzheimer’s, you look at it as possibly someone who is just being uncooperative, somebody that might have been drinking,” Levenson says.

The issue has prompted the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to organize a nationwide training initiative. A team of trainers is currently traveling to several cities across the country to teach officers the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. On Monday they held a training session at Madison College for nearly a hundred police officers and first responders from across the state of Wisconsin.

“Wandering is a huge issue with Alzheimer’s patients. If someone is out in the weather, on the street, inappropriately dressed, officers and first responders need to understand that is not a deliberate act that they’re doing,” trainer Deborah Thompson says.

One of the most important lessons that instructors are teaching first responders and officers is that if they come across someone who might have Dementia or Alzheimer’s is to not run the sirens or the lights on their vehicles. They say the patient may become confused or violent in that situation. Trainers say violent behavior is already a major concern in Alzheimer’s situations. Law enforcement agencies receive numerous domestic violence calls every year. By knowing how to deal with these patients, officers are hoping to not only protect the patients and their families, but other people in their community as well.

“It’s a huge issue and it’s only going to increase in magnitude. It’s not going to reverse,” Thompson says. “It’s not just people who are 65 and older anymore. It’s people who are in their 30’s and 40’s. It’s really becoming a big issue.”

View video from wkow.com

From chippewa.com: “Careers may finally separate twins” — EAU CLAIRE — Charles and Sam Welbourn are finally facing the moment when they will likely be going their separate ways, but they are OK with it. They each have their sights on a career in law enforcement, and now that they have their certification after graduation from the Chippewa Valley Technical College Law Enforcement Academy last Thursday, it’s time to look for jobs.

“We are both very close, but we’ll go wherever we get hired. We know we’re not going to be together,” said Sam.

Charles and Sam have been nearly as inseparable as they are indistinguishable from one another. In 2008, the identical twins graduated together from Chippewa Falls Senior High School, where they played both soccer and basketball. They attended UW-Stout together for two years, then both transferred to UW-Eau Claire, where they took up majors in criminal justice. They graduated together in May 2013.

Then came the 14-week CVTC Law Enforcement Academy, which consists of a series of classes held five days a week, eight hours a day, leading up to the granting of the certificate needed for employment as a public law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. A major requirement for admission is a minimum of 60 college-level credits, according to Eric Anderson, associate dean of the Emergency Services programs at CVTC. CVTC’s program is highly regarded, and Academy students can come from all over the state. The Welbourns were among 17 graduates in this spring’s class.

Back at Stout, Charles was listed as an engineering major, but Sam was undecided. They talked together about their next move before choosing law enforcement.

“We like the legal aspect of it,” Charles said. “And we liked the problem-solving aspect of it, and you get to work with your community through many different angles.”

“We like the unpredictability of the job. Every day is something new,” Sam added.

Yes, law enforcement can be a dangerous job, but that did not deter the Welbournes.

“It never crossed our minds,” Charles said. “It’s there, but it doesn’t affect us one bit.”

That’s because they will rely on the training they received at the Academy that taught them how to be conscious of the dangers, and how to look out for their own safety while serving the public.

“We had really good instructors here,” Sam said. “Passing on their life experiences was really valuable to us.”

One of the Welbourns’ fellow graduates, Joshua Pettis, spoke of safety in his remarks as the class speaker.

“Each day on duty, remember officer safety. You want to go home feeling as well as you did when you started,” Pettis said.

Pettis also advised the graduates to use their heads in every situation. “Your mind is your greatest weapon. Be sure to use it,” he said.

The guest speaker was Dallas Neville, the United States marshal for the western district of Wisconsin, who remarked on what he learned at each stage of his career, which included six years as Clark County sheriff. He advised the graduates to maintain high standards of integrity.

“You have all the control over your integrity, but if you ever lose it, it’s very difficult to get back,” Neville said. He added that they should remember that as patrol officers, they will represent not just the departments they work for, but all of law enforcement.

From postcrescent.com: “FVTC President Dr. Susan May: It’s time to put ‘body farm’ to rest” — You may have seen the flurry of media recently regarding a forensic training field at our Public Safety Training Center. The concept of an outdoor forensic training field may make for a tempting headline, but it is far from being anything final.

I’m sure you may be wondering about this development, so I’ll attempt to provide some clarification about this proposed aspect of the overall facility.

First, the concept of an all-season forensic training field has been included from the very beginning through all planning and referendum communication phases of this center. The very first rough drawings of this facility included this potential outdoor lab, as did early conversations with community leaders in 2009. As the project progressed, we often addressed questions about it, but this part of the center wasn’t highlighted because it’s by no means the primary focus of this new facility. From the beginning, it was considered a longer-range project for possible development in the future.

Right now, the forensic training field is only a concept, an idea, a possibility for further consideration. We are nowhere near actual implementation. Before any action is taken, we would need to address regulatory requirements, reporting standards and operational processes, let alone the research and development our staff would need to undertake. We have many more critical priorities than this, both in getting the PSTC up and running and across the college overall. Ultimately, we may determine that it simply isn’t worth pursuing if the regulations are prohibitive and/or costly.

Looking back, it’s important to remember that public hearings were held to provide information and answer any questions on all of our referendum projects, which were widely supported by the public in 2012. FVTC delivered more than 125 community presentations, our web site included detailed information on the projects, and communications were sent to municipalities, planning commissions, the state Department of Natural Resources, and many other agencies. We sent letters to the adjacent property owners to inform them about the PSTC and invited them to contact us with any questions or concerns.

We were also required to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment for the PSTC development. In that report, the forensic training field was specifically referenced in terms of secured access, visual appearance and odors. This was made available for public review and feedback, and a public hearing was held specifically on this report. The final document has been posted on our website since it was published in September 2012.

Our local media sources have really gotten ahead of themselves on this one; perhaps some of our own exuberant and well-meaning staff has as well. I find it very interesting that all of this media attention has generated a number of inquiries from people about donating their bodies for this type of research, as well as contacts from several universities worldwide interested in working with us at this facility. They, too, are perhaps getting ahead of themselves.

Is there merit to the idea of creating the nation’s first all-season forensic training field to support forensics education, training and research? Absolutely. But, as I’ve tried to convey, there’s a lot more homework to be done. And if this moves forward at some point, it will need to be done with respect for process, laws and regulations, neighbors and communications that are appropriate and timely.

From beloitdailynews.com: “Police recruits aim to improve community relations” – By Geoff Bruce – The most recent recruits of Blackhawk Technical College’s Police Recruit Academy are stretching their legs and building some bridges.

The first ever “Miles for a Message” campaign is the brainchild of the most recently graduated class of academy recruits, Class 13-64.

“The recruits decided that they wanted to do something. These people want to become law enforcement officers, not just study about it,” Blackhawk Technical College Recruit Academy Coordinator Doug Anderson said.

Miles for a Message will take place April 5 and consist of two halves. The first will be a relay run beginning at 8 a.m. consisting of many runners teaming up to conquer the 26.2-mile course. The morning jaunt will start from Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus, 6004 S. County Road G, between Beloit and Janesville, and will head south to Beloit before winding through the city to pass by nearly all of its schools. The run will conclude at the Rotary River Center in Riverside Park in Beloit.

Following the morning run will be an afternoon organization fair. The fair will run from approximately 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Rotary River Center. The purpose of the fair is to introduce citizens to all of the organizations in the area that may be able to help in difficult times. Police academy graduate Bryanne Tudor says that one ultimate goal of the event is to promote good relations between citizens and law enforcement.

“(My class) all talked about it and we realized a lot of underprivileged people don’t really know the resources available to them,” Tudor said. “As law enforcement, it’s important to us for people to know their resources.”

There is no charge for organizations wishing to take part in the event. For more information on either portion of the event, interested parties can contact Tudor at 608-436-6869.

So far, a handful of organizations have signed up to participate in the organization fair following the run including the City of Beloit, Town of Beloit, and Town of Turtle Police Departments, as well as the Rock County Sheriff’s Department.

“I think that each generation of police officers will see this grow in importance. There can no longer be that disconnection of guys just riding around in squad cars and only connecting when someone’s in need or in trouble,” Anderson said. “We need to get officers out of the car and taking the time to interact with people.”

The event’s first half will also raise money for two Stateline Area organizations via pledges. Runners who sign up to run a leg of the 26.2-mile relay will collect at least $75 in pledges and will be able to sign up to run as much, or as little, as they want.

Benefiting from the funds raised by the pledges will be Project 16:49 and the Merrill Community Center.

“Project 16:49 has really taken off, especially with the opening of their new house. I think that they tackle an issue we all need to be aware of,” Tudor said. “As for Merrill, it’s just been a great organization for so long and we really wanted to show support for it.”

Project 16:49 opened its first house to provide long-term residence for homeless teens last month. Executive Director Tammy DeGarmo says that things with the Robin House are going well so far.

“We’ve had almost everything we need for the house donated to us. We’ve had so many people want to volunteer and help out,” DeGarmo said. “We’re excited for this because it’s not easy to take the time to organize an event and right now we’re very busy with the Robin House and helping our other kids. So to have them put this on for us is wonderful.”

Merrill Community Center Executive Director Regina Dunkin recently participated in a panel at Beloit College regarding the incarceration problem in Wisconsin. Prior to that forum, she made points echoing Tudor’s desires to build bridges between law enforcement and citizens. She stood by those remarks Monday.

“I think it’s another opportunity to show the humanity of police officers,” Dunkin said. “Often we hear from kids that they have negative ideas about police because they’ve gotten in trouble or their parents have gotten in trouble. This is a way to change that perception and show that police officers are people too.”

Like DeGarmo, Dunkin was flattered by the decision by the recruits’ to make Merrill Community Center one of the beneficiaries.

“It’s just wonderful. We don’t always have people in the community willing to take the initiative on things like this for us,” Dunkin said. “It’s really going to help us in continuing to serve the children and families of the center.”

Participants who wish to have a running buddy can sign up together. Runners are not responsible for finding and fielding an entire team to run the 26.2 miles.

“Once we have all the sign-ups, we’ll sort people into teams to make sure that the distances that people want to run add up to 26.2 miles,” Tudor said. “If you have someone you want to run with you can write that down and we’ll make sure you get to.”

The run will pass by over a dozen schools in the Beloit area including Turner High School, Rock County Christian High School, and Beloit Memorial High School.

Throughout the morning, teams will go over the Rock River a couple of times. But whether it be at White, Henry, or Grand Avenue, if Tudor and her colleagues have their way, there will be plenty more crossings on a lot more bridges in the days to come.

From chippewa.com: “Academy graduates ready for law enforcement careers” — Eau Claire, WI – It wasn’t just family tradition that attracted James Jarecki to a career in law enforcement, but he did find inspiration there.

“It’s in my family. My dad (James, Sr.) worked for Bayfield County as a patrol officer,” Jarekci said.

Now Jarecki is about to follow in his father’s footsteps. On Friday, Nov. 15, he graduated from the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Law Enforcement Academy, renewing his certification to work as a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin. He’s been hired as a reserve officer for the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and is on the eligibility list for full-time work.

Jarecki, who was elected class leader, had been through the academy once before, but the 2007 Drummond High School graduate was working outside law enforcement for a time, and since he was hired by Chippewa County in January, his certification needed to be renewed. He’s looking forward to getting started in his new career.

“I like patrol,” Jarecki said of his preferred law enforcement job. “You’re not sitting in an office all the time. It’s always something different. You never know what you’re going to get into.”

Being a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin takes a great deal of training. Most of the Law Enforcement Academy graduates, including Jarecki, previously completed CVTC’s two-year Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement program or one at another technical college. Others obtained four-year university degrees before entering the academy.

That provides a good, required foundation, but the 14-week academy program gets down to the practical. Completion of an academy program is required for certification.

Eric Anderson, director of the CVTC Law Enforcement Academy and associate dean of emergency services at CVTC, said the program instructs the recruits in six areas: policing in America, tactical skills, patrol procedures, legal context, relational skills, and investigations.

“The graduates learned to interact with the community as a professional,” Anderson said in his remarks to the graduates and family members at the ceremony. “They learned how to protect themselves. . . they learned how to provide safety and security to all citizens.”

Graduate Christopher Allen, chosen as the student speaker for the ceremony, spoke of the task ahead of the graduates in their careers. “We’ll be given an awesome amount of responsibility. We will be called upon to calm chaos in the most professional manner possible,” Allen said.

“Don’t let it end here,” Judy Anibas, academy faculty member and long-time Eau Claire police officer, told the graduates. “It means a lifelong journey of continuous education and training.”

Anibas called upon the graduates to honor the people they work with, their community, their loved ones and themselves. “And honor the department that hires you. They saw something in you that they thought would enhance their department.”

Of the 22 graduates, four had already secured full-or part-time positions with departments.

 

From whby.com: “Tribal police gather in G.B.area” — Fox Valley Technical College is helping train tribal police officers from across the Midwest this week, at a conference in the Green Bay area.

Brad Russ is the director of the school’s national criminal justice training center. He says it’s the 25th annual event, and they’re focusing on issues like human trafficking and drugs.

Russ says it’s one of the premier tribal training conferences in the country.

The conference runs through Friday, at the Radisson hotel and conference center in the Green Bay area.

From postcrescent.com: “Police officers take seriously commitment to protect, serve” — My daughter raised her right hand to be sworn in.

“On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”

I always knew this day would come. Before she could write, she scribbled “tickets” to offending family members. Lights and sirens evoked heartfelt prayers and a million questions. Halloween “uniforms” were easy. Unusual gifts included handcuffs and police scanners. Most mothers encourage children to avoid traffic. As a Police Explorer, my daughter’s whistle and expertly executed hand motions finally allowed her access to busy intersections. It really struck home when a bulletproof vest hung in my laundry room.

Some public servants, like my daughter, are born for policing, ingrained with a sense of justice, an undeniable passion to help and an unwavering commitment to goodwill.

The police badge represents the shield medieval knights carried into battle. Daily, they strapped on armor, shields and weapons as they protected the people. Brave law enforcement officers do the same today.

None of us know what we may face when we walk out the door on any given day. Neither do our public servants. The difference is when they get ready for work; they strap on a gun, bulletproof vest, and shield and rush to help with unforeseen tragedies. They walk out their door in the morning with a noble purpose — to protect and serve.

I interviewed dozens of law enforcement officers, looking for the proverbial bad apples — the power-hungry bullies above the law whom the media loves to vilify. I couldn’t find one. Although the media would have us believe most citizens resent police officers, I found the opposite.

Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson confirmed most people respect police officers.

“We consistently deal with 2 to 5 percent of the population in their worst moments — people with tremendous needs,” he said.

Safety agencies want feedback to prevent negative perceptions. Peterson said, “We encourage people to contact us if they were treated unprofessionally. We only get a handful of complaints and we take them very seriously. We want the best for our community and demand it from our officers. That is why the hiring process is so rigorous.”

Mark Kohl, the Law Enforcement Recruitment Academy director at Fox Valley Technical College, trusts the academic system.

“We set extremely high standards for these young men and women,” he said. “The recruit process weeds out candidates with wrong motives. Abilities to multitask, problem solve, collaborate and meet high cognitive standards, along with physical stamina and precise technical skills, are what graduates must prove.”

Though part social worker, health care provider, translator, counselor and advocate, police officers are also fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters just like us. The difference is their commitment to a job most of us would never consider.

Academy recruits from FVTC shared their perspective about policing. They agreed values like honor, courage and commitment to community have been passed down through legacies of law enforcement. Eager to uphold values from their oath, they trust the training, academics and character tests that prepare them to take their place as the next generation of public servants.

While visiting New York City, I met NYPD Officer Lawrence DePrimo. You may remember him as one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year in 2012. A tourist’s photo of DePrimo giving shoes to a homeless man went viral. DePrimo humbly said, “It was just a normal day on the job. I got up, went to work and helped someone. Any officer would have done it. We do it every day.”

Most police officers are men and women of integrity who honor the badge and oath they swore to uphold. So the next time you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, get cited for a traffic violation or are asked to inconveniently detour, remember these men and women are working to protect the community, ensure public safety and save lives.

Today, they may provide that service to you or someone you love.

 

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